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Iran's rocky road to FIFA World Cup

Press TV - Iran's national soccer team faces a daunting task to qualify for the 2010 World Cup as it has to defeat several Asian heavyweights.

In a draw carried out in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday for the final round of Asian teams to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Iran is part of Group B with Saudi Arabia, North Korea, the UAE, and South Korea, which is eyeing its sixth consecutive appearance in a FIFA World Cup.

Group A will see Australia, which had qualified for the 1974 and 2006 World Cups, Japan, Bahrain, Uzbekistan and Qatar. As a member of the Oceania Football Federation, this is the first time Australia is playing in the Asian qualifiers since joining the Asian Football Confederation in 2006.

The top two in each group qualify as Asia's representatives, while the two teams standing in the third place of each group will have play-offs. The winner will then take on an Oceania Football Confederation side for a place at the finals.

The final qualifying round runs between September 6, this year and June 17, 2009.

Iran's national soccer team head coach Ali Daei said earlier his squad would face a difficult challenge to compete in the second round of the World Cup qualifiers with powerful teams such as Saudi Arabia and South Korea in its group.

Iran, which had qualified for the 1978, 1998 and 2006 World Cups, finished first in Group 5 of the first qualifying round with 9 points, followed by the UAE with 8 points.

... Payvand News - 06/27/08 ... --

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